Wednesday, July 6

Construction of Baleh HEP to cost RM8 bln — SEB

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KUCHING: The total construction cost for Baleh Hydroelectric Plant is about RM8 billion, including the cost of financing, said Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili.

According to him, the project will be funded by a combination of SEB’s internal generated funding and sukuk financing.

Sharbini said they had so far awarded contracts for the construction of road, jetty, explosive magazine and operator’s village packages and main civil works (the contract for which was signed yesterday).

“Today (yesterday) is the fifth one (package) which is the civil works (of the Baleh HEP). So we still have the tunnel work, mechanical and electrical (M&E) works, transmission line and also clearing of biomass,” he said during a press conference after the contract signing ceremony between SEB’s subsidiary SEB Power, China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture for the main civil works of the Baleh HEP at Menara SEB, here, yesterday.

Currently, Sharbini said, SEB was in the final stage of negotiations with the contractor for the M&E and tunnel works for the HEP project, which was expected to be awarded soon.

As for the rest of the packages, he said SEB would award the contract as soon as they had finalised the negotiation with the contractors.

Located on the Baleh River about 95 kilometres upstream from the confluence with the Rejang River in Kapit, the dam will generate 1,285 megawatts of renewable energy once the project is completed.

The project is expected to be fully commissioned in 2025 and it will provide additional renewable energy required to power Sarawak’s vision of becoming a developed state by 2030.

Meanwhile, Sharbini said SEB’s 600 megawatt Balingian Coal-fired Power Plant is expected to be fully commissioned by the middle of next year.

“We have started some of the small commissioning testing. The full commissioning will be probably by middle of next year.”

Noting that the annual consumption of the coal-fired power plant would be about three million tonnes per year, he said SEB was looking at supplying 50 per cent of the coal required from its own coal mining subsidiary company while another 50 per cent would be sourced from Sarawak Coal Resources Sdn Bhd, adding that both the companies have the capacity to go higher than 50 per cent to cover for any shortage of coal supply to the coal-fired power plant.

“So the source of coal is very much secured at this moment. We don’t have to worry for at least about 10 years.”